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Couple borrows corpse for life insurance fraud scheme; doctor dumbfounded

  • Author: Amy Silverstein
  • Updated: September 29, 2016
  • Published December 25, 2012

Two South Africans have been arrested for "borrowing" a corpse from a funeral parlor in an elaborate life insurance scam.

Police say that a 35-year-old suspect created a fake identity of a woman and named her Aphiwe Ntombela. The suspect insured Aphiwe with three different companies and then pretended she died. Hoping to claim $11,000 in life insurance, the suspect allegedly approached a funeral parlor owner and asked him for help; specifically, she wanted "to borrow" a female body. The owner agreed, the AFP reported, and together they took the body to a doctor for a death certificate.

"The doctor saw the body and certified it as deceased," a spokesman told BBC News. But someone tipped police off to the scam.

When the funeral parlor owner returned to the mortuary to fetch the body, so that she could be given a proper burial by her real family, police were there waiting, the BBC reported.

The pair have been charged with fraud.

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